Following US$1bn investment, Toyota deepens partnership with Grab in Singapore

The deal further signals that Grab, which has raised nearly $7 billion in funding, will have more business cooperation with its strategic investors.

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Following its fresh US$1 billion in Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing major Grab, Japan’s Toyota Motor Corporation announced today that its sales and marketing regional headquarters in Asia, Toyota Motor Asia Pacific (TMAP), has struck a deal to provide Total-care Service to Grab cars in the city-state.

Under the service deal, TMAP will offer Total-care Service for 1,500 Toyota vehicles owned by Grab in Singapore through GrabRentals. Eventually, the plan is for TMAP and Grab to offer this service to Grab-owned Toyota vehicles across Southeast Asia in phases.

The agreement is on top of the two company’s plan to increase the number of Toyota cars in Grab’s fleet in Southeast Asia. Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance, a Toyota-affiliated insurance firm, is also offering telematics-based automotive insurance to Grab subsidiary GrabRentals.

“We are excited to work with Toyota to roll out the Total-care Service to our Grab Rental fleet. The ability to meld data analytics with vehicle maintenance will make our rental fleet even safer for our driver-partners, and go toward achieving our goal to raise transport safety standards in the region,” said Grab president Ming Maa.

Toyota said the Total-care Service is “an innovative, world’s first service” developed specially for ride-hailing companies. The service allows Toyota to leverage onboard telematics data from ride-hailing companies, such as Grab, through a shared information platform to tailor services such as fleet management, automotive insurance, and vehicle maintenance packages.

For Grab’s part, the deepened partnership with Toyota allows it to provide its driver-partners with more cost-efficient and timely maintenance services, according to the statement. In general, ride-hailing vehicles accrue five times more mileage than privately-owned vehicles. To keep vehicles in a good and safe condition, it is essential to provide proper vehicle maintenance based on the vehicle’s condition.

The two firms also revealed that they will work closely to increase the share of Toyota vehicles in Grab’s fleet in Southeast Asia by 25 percent by 2020 and for Grab to implement Toyota’s world-renowned Toyota Production System, a system based on a philosophy of eliminating waste, to improve Grab’s business operational efficiency.

Toyota said it has been collaborating with Grab since August 2017 in the field of connected car services using the Japanese carmaker’s Mobility Service Platform.

The tie-up also signals that, Grab, which has raised a total of US$6.8 billion in funding, will have more similar business cooperation with its strategic investors. It recently raised US$150 million from Yamaha Motor Corp and US$250 million from Hyundai Motor Company. Toyota invested US$1 billion in Grab last June.

Grab has raised over $2.6 billion for its ongoing Series H funding round and could get more as it is reportedly in advanced talks to add PayPal to its shining strategic investors. If the deal pushes through, the funding round could hit $3.2 billion, topping its target of $3 billion, by the end of this year.

Editor: Ben Jiang